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Published on 3/4/2024, 12:23:00 PM

What are the potential consequences of a DUI conviction in Maryland?

In Maryland, a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) conviction can have serious consequences, including both legal and personal ramifications. Some potential consequences include criminal penalties, license suspension, participation in igntion interlock, a criminal record, probation, and both personal and financial consequences. This article will seek to expand on some of these consequences and answer common questions.

Please bear in mind that some of these consequences will only apply to drivers convicted of a DUI, not those who receive a probation before judgment

Criminal Penalties Associated with DUI Convictions

A DUI conviction can result in fines, license suspension or revocation, and even jail time.

The severity of these penalties depends on factors such as the driver's blood alcohol concentration (BAC), prior DUI convictions, and whether the DUI resulted in property damage, injury, or death.

When it comes to drunk driving charges, Maryland has a two tiered approach.

Tier 1 - Driving Under the Influce

Maryland has two forms of Driving under the influence, a regular Driving Under the Influence, and Driving under the Influence Per se. The major difference between the two lies in the elements. A DUI Per Se requires proof of a BAC of over .08, the legal limit. A regular driving under the influence charge requires that the State prove that a person's normal motor coordination is substantially impacted by alcohol, not the specific BAC of the driver.

Both of these offenses carry the same maximum penalty for a first offense dui, which is one year in jail, a $1,000 fine, and 12 points on a driver's traffic record.

Tier 2 - Driving While Impaired

Driving While Impaired is a lesser offense of driving under the influence. The distinction between driving under the influence of alcohol and driving while impaired by alcohol is one of degree. Both crimes require that normal coordination be reduced as a result of the consumption of alcohol; however, driving while impaired by alcohol is the less serious crime. It requires that alcohol has impaired the person's normal coordination to some extent.

The maximum penalty for a driving while impaired is 60 days in jail, a $500 fine, and 8 points on a driver's license.

License Suspension or Revocation

Upon conviction of a DUI offense, you will receive 12 points. This will automatically cause the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) to suspend or revoke your driver's license.

Generally, the MVA applies the following penalties for point accumulation based on the total number of points that you have accumulated during the two-year period prior to the violation:

3 to 4 points - The MVA will send you a warning letter.
5 to 7 points - The MVA will require you to enroll in a Driver Improvement Program (DIP).
8 to 11 points - The MVA will send you a notice of suspension.
12 or more points - The MVA will send you a notice of revocation.

DUI Conviction Revocation

Maryland law has created a special type of suspension for those convicted of a drunk driving or drugged driving offenses. Specifically, under Transportation Article 16-205, the MVA may revoke the license of any person who is convicted of a driving under the influence or driving under the influence per se. If a person, within a three year period, is convicted of a driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol, and was previously convicted of any combination of two or more prior drunk driving offenses, they may also be revoked by the MVA.

If the MVA seeks to revoke a driver for a conviction, the MVA shall inform the person that they may participate in the ignition interlock period for 6 months the first time the individual is required to participate in the Ignition Interlock System Program, 1 year the second time the individual is required to participate in the Ignition Interlock System Program; and 3 years the third or any subsequent time the individual is required to participate in the Ignition Interlock System Program.

DWI Conviction Suspension

If a person is convicted of an impaired driving offense, the MVA may suspend them for up to 60 days as a result of a conviction.

Where it gets tricky

Prior DUI Offenses and License Revocation and Suspension

Many of these suspensions and revocations will depend on a person's prior offenses. If a driver has multiple drunk driving convcitions in their past, the MVA can take more drastic action than what is outlined above.

Underage Drivers Convicted of DUI

If a person who is under the age of 21 years and is subsequently convicted of any drunk driving offense, the MVAshall suspend the person's license to drive for a 1 year for a first conviction and 2 years for a second or subsequent conviction.

Ignition Interlock Device Install Requirements

In some cases, particularly for repeat offenders or those with high BAC levels, the court may require the installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) on the offender's vehicle as a condition of probation. This device requires the driver to pass a breathalyzer test before starting the vehicle.

This might be in addition to an ignition interlock requirement that is a result of a breath test refusal, or a high breath test result.

A DUI on your Criminal Record

A DUI conviction will result in a criminal record, which can have long-term consequences. It may affect employment opportunities, housing options, and could lead to increased insurance premiums. Even a probation before judgment will not enable expungement of a DUI or DWI offense.

The only way to ensure that you don't have a record is to prevail at a bench or jury trial.

Supervised Probation Requirements

The court may impose probation as part of the sentence for a DUI conviction. Probation typically includes requirements such as attending alcohol education classes, refraining from alcohol or drug use, and regular check-ins with a probation officer.

Maryland has a special form of supervised probation for DUI and DWI offenders, referred to as the Drinking Driver Monitoring Program, or DDMP.

An Impact on Employment

A DUI conviction can have significant implications for your current job or future employment prospects, particularly if your job involves driving or requires a clean criminal record. You may need to request a work exemption for an interlock device, and certain probation conditions might limit your ability to travel out of the State of Maryland without your agent's permission.

Financial Consequences

In addition to fines and court costs, a DUI conviction can result in increased auto insurance premiums, fees for license reinstatement, and expenses associated with attending court-mandated programs.

Personal and Social Consequences:

A DUI conviction can strain relationships with family and friends and may lead to feelings of guilt, shame, and embarrassment. It can also affect your standing in the community.

It's important to note that the consequences of a DUI conviction can vary depending on the circumstances of the case and any mitigating or aggravating factors. It's advisable to consult with a qualified attorney if you are facing DUI charges in Maryland to understand your rights and options.

Why You Should Hire FrizWoods for your DUI

Our team consists of seasoned attorneys Max Frizalone and Luke Woods, who have a proven track record of securing acquittals, dismissals, and favorable outcomes for their clients. We provide comprehensive support, addressing both criminal charges and licensing issues, and are prepared to take cases to trial, ensuring clients receive tailored defense strategies. Contact us today for a free consultation about your case.